Coconut Sweet and Sour Chicken

by Rebekahcooked up on March 31, 2017

You know what is weird? I spent a good percentage of my life thinking I did not like coconut.

I don’t know if that was because of some badly-done artificial flavor I encountered somewhere, or just some badly cooked coconut. I do know that I still don’t like artificial coconut scents – they actually give me a massive headache. Who knows what puts these prejudices in our heads when we are young — my policy now is that if the food is not moving, I have to at least try a bite!

Sweet and Sour Coconut Chicken | PDXfoodlove

And I do eat coconut now. In fact, I adore it. I would eat it for any meal, any time of day. You know how Salt and Straw has that Petunia’s Bars and Sea Salt Caramel flavor? It’s their vegan coconut ice cream, and it’s the best ice cream they make, in my opinion.

Also, I may have mentioned that I enjoy a good tiki drink now and then. Many of those incorporate coconut. And I will eat an entire pan of chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons alone, if nobody stops me.

But it’s savory foods which I think are my very favorite way to use coconut. I always have a can of coconut milk in the cupboard, and cream of coconut, too (because, tiki). The aroma is absolutely intoxicating. And it pairs great with some of my favorite proteins, like fish, tofu and chicken.

Sweet and Sour Coconut Chicken | PDXfoodlove

This one-pot weeknight dish is one of my recent favorites. We made some rice to go with, so I guess it’s not TECHNICALLY one pot, but if you have some leftover rice or frozen cauliflower rice, it can be! You can use either coconut milk for a more savory version or cream of coconut for a sweeter version. Just use coconut milk to make this dish paleo and low carb.


Coconut Sweet & Sour Chicken


  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 cup snow peas, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1/3 cup cream of coconut (or use coconut milk!)
  • 1 Tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch dissolved into 1/4 cup water
  • NOTE: If you want this to be paleo or low carb, use coconut milk and skip the corn starch, just simmering the sauce a little longer to thicken.


  1. Flatten chicken breasts into a 1-inch thick cutlet using a mallet or a rolling pin. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a cast-iron or other heavy duty skillet, cook a chicken breast over high heat 7 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove, cover, and set aside.
  3. Add 1 Tsbp of oil to the skillet, and add a diced pepper and 1 cup of chopped snow peas. Cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add 1 cup stock, juice and zest of 1/2 lime, and 1/3 cup coconut cream. Stir and bring it to a boil.
  5. Once the liquid starts to reduce, stir in the 1Tbsp corn starch and water mixture. It'll thicken up quite a bit. Then add the chicken back to the skillet, along with 1 tsp chili flakes cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
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